Coaching to Support Learning

Think about the last time you attended a training session. If you are like me, you got excited about the content, fired up about changing things back at work based on what you learned, and ready to be a different and better leader.

Then reality hits. Hundreds of emails, 22 meetings, and 17 “I just need a minute of your time” conference calls later and I struggle to recall what I was going to do differently. Where did I put my action plan? Oh, and that hour I booked into my calendar to take time to reflect and prepare? Well it just got sucked up by the boss asking me to (fill in your own situation here.)

The point is that we all have good intentions about applying learning—but those intentions can get waylaid by our work environment. What on earth might help? How can we get back on track?

Enter the coach. A coach will help you review what you learned and what excited you, and will discuss with you how to apply back on the job what you learned in training. A coach helps transfer learning from the classroom to the work environment in four ways.

  • Accountability. Telling someone else what you are going to do is a powerful way to keep those intentions top of mind. A coach supports you in taking action to apply what you learned.
  • Removing Obstacles. What is getting in the way of application? A coach helps you identify ways to overcome obstacles.
  • Aligning Actions with Values. What makes this new skill important enough for you to apply the new learning? A coach will help you identify why taking action is a priority.
  • Creating a Workable Plan. Finally, your coach will help you apply new skills incrementally, so that over time you will learn more, create new habits, and begin to see the results of your learning and application.

Don’t go it alone. Ask for a coach. A coach who is focused on supporting your learning will help you change your world by turning your learning experience into real action.

About the Author

Patricia OverlandPatricia Overland is a Coaching Solutions Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team.  Since 2000, Blanchard’s 150 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

One thought on “Coaching to Support Learning

  1. Great food for thought Patricia. I particularly liked when you said “what makes this new skill important enough for you to apply the new learning?” Answering this kind of question should really helps the learner to personalize their plan for development.

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